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STOL

From Academic Kids

Template:Types of take-off and landing STOL is an acronym for Short Take-Off and Landing, used in the aircraft industry to describe airplanes with very low runway requirements. Most STOL aircraft are bush planes, though some, like the de Havilland Dash-7, are designed for use on prepared airstrips; likewise, most STOL aircraft are taildraggers, though there are some famous exceptions like the de Havilland Twin Otter and the Peterson 260SE.

Runway length requirement is a function of the square of the minimum flying speed (stall speed), and most design effort is spent on reducing this number. For takeoff, large power/weight ratios and low drag help the plane to accelerate for flight. The landing run is minimized by strong brakes, low landing speed or spoilers (less common). Overall STOL performance is set by the length of runway needed to land or take off, whichever is longer.

Of equal importance to short ground run is the ability to clear obstacles, such as trees, on both take off and landing. For takeoff, large power/weight ratios and low drag result in a high rate of climb required to clear obstacles. For landing high drag allows the airplane to descend steeply to the runway with out building excess speed resulting in a longer ground run. Drag is increased by use of flaps (devices on the wings) and by slipping (causing the airplane to fly somewhat sideways).

Normally, a STOL plane will have a large wing for its weight. These wings often use aerodynamic devices like flaps, slats, and vortex generators. Typically, designing an airplane for excellent STOL performance reduces maximum speed, but does not reduce payload lifting ability. The payload is critical, because many small, isolated communities rely on STOL aircraft as their only transportation link to the outside world for passengers or cargo; examples include many communities in the Canadian north and Alaska.

Most STOL planes can land either on- or off-airport. Typical off-airport landing areas include snow or ice (using skis), fields or gravel riverbanks (often using special fat, low-pressure tundra tires), and water (using floats): these areas are often extremely short and obstructed by tall trees or hills. Wheel skis and amphibious floats combine wheels with skis or floats, allowing the choice of landing on snow/water or a prepared runway. A STOLPORT is an airport designed with STOL operations in mind, normally having a short single runway. These are not common but can be found, for example, at London City Airport, London, England.

List of famous STOL aircraft

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